Disability Insurance Blog

Court Finds In Favor Of Claimant With Vestibular Disorder/Vertigo


Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

A Federal Judge has determined that a claimant is entitled to her benefits from Liberty Mutual, after her claim had been terminated and her appeal denied.

The Court, weighing the evidence on a de novo review, determined that the claimant’s medical support was of more quality than the evidence developed by Liberty Life, which included surveillance obtained over eight (8) days, a peer review by a hired doctor, and an examination performed by a doctor hired by Liberty Mutual.

The claimant, who left work several months after suffering from vertigo and dizziness, when her symptoms significantly worsened, worked in a sedentary desk job that required near constant use of a computer. While on claim, Liberty Mutual obtained surveillance of her – a common tactic by Liberty Mutual – which showed her driving short distances, carrying groceries and running errands. The Court, however, was not persuaded by the surveillance, noting that these activities were not inconsistent with what the claimant had reported in her Activities Questionnaire to Liberty Mutual.

Liberty Mutual argued that the conditions allegedly impairing the claimant were “purely subjective” and thus, could not support the continuation of benefits. The Court was not persuaded by this argument, and ultimately determined that the claimant should be afforded her own occupation benefits. The Court did, however, remand the claim back to Liberty Mutual to consider her eligibility for continued benefits under the any occupation standard in the policy.

The Court thus granted her benefits, with interest on the unpaid benefits for the own occupation period, and permitted the claimant to pursue her attorney’s fees.

Anderson v. Liberty Mutual